According to the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary the word idiot ( \ˈi-dē-ət\) is a noun and derogatory term for someone with extreme mental retardation; the most common use is to describe a foolish or stupid person. The term is derived from Middle English, old French to be specific with an origin as 60 percent of English has Latin or Greek roots; the word idiot originated from the Latin word idiota (ignorant person).
With well over 7 billion people inhabiting this planet, unfortunately a good portion of these folks are idiots. Regardless of how much you try to avoid them, they seem to be everywhere, and what’s most frightening is that you never know who it’ll be. An idiot can be a technology obsessed gadget-freak who was too busy texting when they crashed their vehicle into yours. An idiot can be the mail man that no matter how many times you’ve spoken to him, how often you’ve called the post office and spoken to supervisors on duty, they still continue to deliver highly important mail to the wrong address, one that you haven’t lived at in over a year.
An idiot can be that show-off, brown nosing, butt kissing co-worker who shoves everyone aside to dramatically say “I got this,” delivering the words in a highly unnecessary urgent manner when the situation is not an emergency or a high priority. It’s as though he is the living, real-life embodiment of the Dwight Schrute character from the U.S. version of The Office, originally a dry British mockumentary/cringe comedy birthed from the comedic genius of Ricky Gervais.
Only comedy can get away with making extremely annoying and asinine individuals or circumstances and alter them into humorous situations. In real life, your Dwight Schrute is anything but funny. Really, what you’d love to do is punch him in his smug, stupid face. But, you refrain from stooping to the idiot’s level. And that is precisely the challenge when dealing with idiots, because unlike other negative personalities they can really crawl way under your skin. You can handle a passive aggressive person to an extent because you sort of expect their delayed retaliation. You can place professional boundaries around a confrontational, “in-your-face” personality. However, an idiot has the ability to make you go from calm and even keeled to red-hot screaming at the bloody moron.
The hardest part is that, like a clinically insane person, they do not know that they are crazy. An idiot has no idea that he’s being an idiot. He’s unaware of how stupid his jokes come across. When people are laughing, he assumes they are laughing at his terrible sense of humor; really, they are laughing at him, not with him. I can’t help but think of Will Ferrell, another comedic genius that seems to have great sense of timing and an amazing ability to play the perfect idiot. We all know Will Ferrell is not an idiot. He’s by far one of the best comedians today. In nearly all of his comedic roles, including on SNL, Ferrell is one intelligent actor who portrays an idiot with superb comedic timing. But as stated previously, comedy is one thing; dealing with a real-life idiot is an entirely different matter.
Like when dealing with selfish people, an idiot is extremely easy to spot. The issue with idiots is that they can often trap you into conversing with them. They may corner you at a barbecue and talk to you at length about some stupid thing they’re working on that you can’t care less about. But, they insist on trapping you. When you step to the right, they step to the right and block you, as they proceed to continue talking. Then you step to the left and they step to the left. They continue to brag about some nonsense they want to impress you with, but you’re not impressed, you’re annoyed. And they don’t get it.
An idiot can also be cheap. They’ll ask you out do lunch and proceed to order an appetizer, drinks and entree. Wow, you think to yourself, he’s sure hungry. What a big lunch; the dude’s packing an appetite today. You’re not hungry and order a single beer. You sit there taking a couple of nibbles from his appetizer, at his insistence, and listen as they jabber on. The idiot looks at the clock and says he’s got to go and says “Oh, you’ve got this right? Cool.” He proceeds to thank you as he leaves, not even giving you a chance to protest.
Now you feel like a big idiot, too. They sucked you down to their level, made you just as guilty of stupidity. You sigh and you’re pissed at yourself, you take out your wallet and have no choice but to pay because your cheap idiot friend just stuck you with the tab.
Perhaps idiots are smart people feigning as though they’re clueless when really they’re plan is to get as many people to do things for them: Buy their meals, pay their rent and their tabs. Better not stick around to find out what level of an IQ they have. You need to idiot-proof your life and here’s how you do it:
If you’re eating dinner or lunch with an idiot, do not pay for their meal even if they said that they forgot their wallet. If they’ve done the “I’m broke” BS, then do not go out to a place with them that involves spending money. You’ll get stuck with the bill, and then who will be the idiot?
If your idiot traps you in a corner of the kitchen as you’re getting a drink for yourself at some get together, he wants to “catch up” and talk. But, really he’ll take up your time talking about his new pet hamster or something brainless and stupid. You’ll want to strangle him after 10 minutes of his nonsensical rambling. Squirm and tell the idiot that you drank a gallon of coffee earlier and you’ve got to urinate. Then find the bathroom and lock yourself in it until the idiot has latched on to someone else. When the coast is clear, you can sneak out of the restroom.
If an idiot blows up your phone with scrolling text messages bragging about some stupid new thing in his life and he continues to blow up your phone. It’s like the more you ignore him the more he continues to text you. Text him and tell him you’re at a funeral and to stop texting, then turn off your phone or else he’ll ask you who died and text you emoticon flowers and or his sympathy. If he refuses to stop texting you, you may need to block his number for a week or two. Give yourself a vacay from the idiot.
If you’ve helped out an idiot with a project, you did so out of the kindness of your heart. Now, the idiot won’t stop asking you for more. You give him an inch; he takes a mile. He’s always coming up with some BS story, some braggadocios new idea, project or whatever his is doing. Usually, he hardly follows through or finishes anything. Ignore him, erase his number, don’t answer your phone, turn off your phone and let it go to voicemail. Because you’ve even told him you’re at work or it’s the wrong time to talk, but an idiot refuses to listen or take the hint. Better not even answer the phone.
Never lend an idiot money, do him any favors for free, or compromise your time and prioritities to service his need. An idiot is clueless, won’t listen to what you have to say, and doesn’t understand that he’s being inappropriate. He’ll likely never return your money you lend him because an idiot is terrible when it comes to money management.
You can be a nice person, but sometimes it is necessary to enforce firm boundaries especially when it comes to dealing with an idiot. They tend to never listen, be completely unaware of their own behavior, have poor judgment and decision making skills. They seem to be unaware of their environment or the people in it because an idiot is dancing to their own tune and mostly living in their own head. Regardless if this idiot is a very good friend or a family member. Cut them out of your life or erect some serious boundaries that they will not or should not cross. Don’t let yourself get dragged down by someone else’s stupidity otherwise you’re the foolish one.